`Asylum cases being concluded faster than ever before’: UKBA

Individuals to be removed soon after they exhausted rights of appeal

17th February 2010: The UK Border Agency has claimed it is aiming at concluding all asylum cases within six months; and the removal will occur soon after individuals have exhausted their rights of appeal. The cases were being dealt with faster than ever before, the agency is insisting.

Strategic director for criminality and detention David Wood said: ‘We are concluding cases faster than ever before.

`Our aim to conclude all asylum cases within six months means that removal will occur soon after individuals have exhausted their rights of appeal, meaning all legal challenges should have been dealt with before a decision to remove and detain if necessary.’

The assertion came in response to a media report on detainees in immigration removal centres.

Wood said: ‘People who are in detention are there because both the UK Border Agency and the independent courts deem them to have no legal right to be here.

‘Each case is considered carefully on its own merits, and the presumption in all cases continues to be in favour of granting temporary admission or release wherever possible.

`If detention is deemed necessary, we always aim to keep it to the minimum period possible. But that period will vary from case to case depending on individual circumstances.

`Detainees can also voluntarily leave the UK at any point, and are free to apply for bail to an independent immigration judge.

‘There are also ex-foreign national prisoners who are detained pending deportation, and who are judged as a risk to the public. Some of these seek to avoid deportation, which delays removal and extends detention’.

Children’s commissioner had earlier asserted children held at an immigration detention centre were facing "extremely distressing" arrest and transportation procedures, and were subjected to prolonged and sometimes repeated periods of detention.

Sir Al Aynsley-Green has, in fact, brought to the fore concerns over significant areas of healthcare for the 1,000 children held in the Yarl’s Wood centre every year.

The areas include a failure to assess even at an elementary level the general psychological wellbeing of a child on arrival and inability to recognise psychological harm when faced with dramatic changes in a child’s behaviour.

Quoting the example of a a three-year-old child with a fractured arm, Aynsley-Green said
the poor care and improper delays was indicative of inability to provide a standard of NHS care that any British citizen could expect.

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